Home > Explore Data & Reports > Biogeographic characterization of fish and benthic communities, Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico 2009-06-08 to 2009-06-13 (NODC Accession 0125200)


Zitello, A., T. McGrath, and S. Hile. 2015. Biogeographic characterization of fish and benthic communities, Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico 2009-06-08 to 2009-06-13 (NODC Accession 0125200). NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center. Dataset.

Data/Report Type:

NCEI Data Archive Accession


The project originated from an ongoing collaboration between USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and NOAA on the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was developed in 2003 by the USDA as a multi-agency effort to quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices applied by private landowners. Ten Special Emphasis Watersheds (SEW) were identified throughout the U.S. to address specific resource concerns such as animal feeding operations, water use, drainage management and wildlife habitat restoration. The Jobos Bay watershed was selected by CEAP partners as the first tropical CEAP SEW with the goal of identifying innovative conservation practices that will enhance the health of coral reef ecosystems. The project's general approach includes describing the baseline conditions in Jobos Bay, implementing agricultural conservation practices on the watershed and measuring the response in Jobos BayÕs water quality, biogeochemistry, benthic habitats and marine biota. It is anticipated that relatively short term changes will be measured in water quality and marine sediments; while long-term changes in higher trophic levels, such as fishes, may be detected in out-years. The baseline biological monitoring was conducted in June 2009 by the Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment's Biogeography Branch. Biogeography Branch staff used monitoring protocols developed under NOAA's Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Project, which have been used since 2001 to monitor fish and benthic habitats in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These protocols are standardized throughout the US Caribbean to enable quantification and comparison of reef fish abundance and distribution trends between locations. Specific objectives were: (1) to spatially characterize and monitor the distribution, abundance, and size of both reef fishes and macro-invertebrates (conch, lobster and sea urchin), (2) to relate this information to in situ data collected on associated benthic composition parameters, (3) to use this information to establish the knowledge base necessary for enacting management decisions in a spatial setting, and (4) to establish the efficacy of those management decisions. Using ArcView GIS software, nearshore benthic habitat maps created by NOAA's BB in 2001 were stratified to select sampling stations. Sites were randomly selected within these strata to ensure coverage of the entire study region and not just a particular reef or seagrass area. At each site, fish, macro-invertebrates, and benthic composition information were then quantified following standardized protocols. By relating the data collected in the field back to the habitat maps and bathymetric models, BB is able to model and map species level and community level information.

Note to readers with disabilities: Some scientific publications linked from this website may not conform to Section 508 accessibility standards due to the complexity of the information being presented. If you need assistance accessing this electronic content, please contact the lead/corresponding author, Primary Contact, or nccos.webcontent@noaa.gov.

Explore Similar Data/Reports


NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our quarterly newsletter or view our archives.

Follow us on Social

Listen to our Podcast

Check our our new podcast "Coastal Conversations"